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BT HH3/5 - Improve WiFi DL Speed ?

Davexxx
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Registered: 12-09-2015

BT HH3/5 - Improve WiFi DL Speed ?

My main PC achieves around 74 & 17 Mbps with BT Home Hub 3/5 (Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra), and a Dell laptop in an adjacent room, around 30 & 17 Mbps via WiFi (Dell Wireless 1702 802.11b/g/n & 9.2.0.412 driver, bandwidth 20/40 MHz & Auto).  Also, the laptop detects only the 2.4 GHz signal, but not 5 GHz with a BT Home Hub 5 Type A (I presently use HH3).
Is there any realistic scope for usefully increasing the WiFi download speed above 30 Mbps ?  E.g., via a USB wireless 5 GHz adapter.
Dave.
6 REPLIES
bill888
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 897
Thanks: 130
Fixes: 24
Registered: 18-10-2008

Re: BT HH3/5 - Improve WiFi DL Speed ?

The Dell 1702 uses an Atheros AR9285 wifi chip. This is a single stream N150 spec wifi card which only supports 2.4 GHz band so 30 mbps max is typical.  The card also appears to support Bluetooth.
A dual stream N300 2.4GHz spec wifi would only be slight improvement.  You need look at using a dual band wifi solution which supports 5 GHz if you want speeds close to 74 mbps.
What is the model number of the Dell laptop?
You may be able to simply replace the 1702 card with a dual band 2.4/5 GHz card, if it is easily accessible via one of the hatch covers on the underside of the laptop.  Some cards are available with Bluetooth.
Otherwise, a USB 5GHz wireless dongle as you have already suggested, will be the easiest upgrade option if you don't wish to disturb the existing Bluetooth software/driver setup.


Davexxx
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Registered: 12-09-2015

Re: BT HH3/5 - Improve WiFi DL Speed ?

That's helpful, many thanks ...
Quote from: zZz
... This is a single stream N150 spec wifi card which only supports 2.4 GHz band so 30 mbps max is typical ... What is the model number of the Dell laptop? ...

It's a Dell Inspiron N7110 / Q17R, but I'm not overly keen on changing an internal card.
I now feel that a 'wired' solution might be appropriate - so I'm going to try a Netgear PL1200-100UKS 1200 Mbps Powerline Ethernet Adapter.
I'll post back with results in a few days.
Dave.
Davexxx
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Registered: 12-09-2015

Re: BT HH3/5 - Improve WiFi DL Speed ?

As promised ...
Dell Inspiron N7110 / Q17R Laptop - Netgear PL1200 Ethernet: now around 55 & 17 Mbps (prev. Wifi 30 & 17 Mbps)
So, the upload speed is unchanged, and the download speed nearly doubled.   Setup was straight-forward, just connect and go (kit includes 2 Ethernet cables).
Dave.
Update - data/plots attached.
MattyC
Champion
Posts: 3,192
Thanks: 161
Fixes: 46
Registered: 10-04-2014

Re: BT HH3/5 - Improve WiFi DL Speed ?

Thanks for the feedback.
This is usually disputed, but I swear by powerline adapters (though I did live in the attic room in my old property with the router on the bottom floor).
ex-Plusnet staffer. Any posts after 28/07/2017 aren't on behalf of Plusnet
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,171
Thanks: 479
Fixes: 20
Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: BT HH3/5 - Improve WiFi DL Speed ?

It might be a good idea to check the download speed on your main PC while the powerline adapters are switched on, just to make sure they haven't reduced your broadband speed to 55Mbps, not everyone is so keen on them.
Davexxx
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Registered: 12-09-2015

Re: BT HH3/5 - Improve WiFi DL Speed ?

Many thanks for mentioning this ...
Quote from: ejs
It might be a good idea to check the download speed on your main PC while the powerline adapters are switched on ...

I've just checked and there's no discernible reduction in UL/DL speed for the main PC.
Dave.